UK devs need to avoid 'Americanisation' and push British culture in play, argues TIGA

Flying the flag

UK devs need to avoid 'Americanisation' and push British culture in play, argues TIGA
Trade association TIGA has called for UK developers to push forward British culture in their games, warning against what it claims is an increasing trend of 'Americanisation'.

In a statement celebrating the success of mobile outfit Neon Play – the first studio of its kind to be awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise – TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said too many British made games fail to project the UK's culture in play.

'Culturally British'

"It is a magnificent and well deserved success," said Wilson of Neon Play's award.

"It also demonstrates TIGA’s argument that the video games industry has the potential to contribute to an export led recovery. The experience of Neon Play, which has developed games such as Traffic Panic London, also shows that there is a market for culturally British video games.

"Unfortunately, there is an under-production in the supply of culturally British video games. Many games are made overseas because of the tax credits that are available and so many culturally British elements are lost or replaced by those of the nation making the games."

Wilson also suggested that even games being made on British shores are "increasingly being made with an Americanised theme."

Top taxing

The UK Government's forthcoming tax breaks for the games industry, however, may help reverse this trend.

"Games Tax Relief should assist more studios to self-publish and so keep a British flavour to their games," continued Wilson.

"Additionally, Games Tax Relief will lower the cost of games development in the UK and accordingly should encourage global publishers to develop games with British characteristics."

Of Neon Play's victory, studio CEO Oli Christie said his firm was "incredibly proud".

"And it goes to show the importance of creative game studios to the UK economy," he added.

"I really, really hope the EU Commission realises this and how vital culturally British games are to the UK games industry. Games Tax Relief is hugely important to stimulate our industry and the production of more culturally British video games."

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.